Whilst some may be looking forward to be a proposed FOBT stake reduction restoring betting parity on the high street, a revision of business rates may render positive legislative gains null, suggests Tom Rush.
April will see an overhaul of business rates for the first time in a decade, taking into account the rise in property valuation in the interim period, and initial forecasts make for uneasy reading.
Business rates specialists CVS have reported that some high street premises face rises of up to 150 percent, with many smaller business facing up to the fear of being pushed out of business altogether.
With arcades and FECs traditionally being situated in high footfall areas it is likely many operators will see a sharp increase in overheads, whereas it is being widely reported that giants, Amazon, may see a fall of more than £140,000 across its properties.
It may well be time that serious questions over the government’s dedication to the smaller enterprises should be raised.
During discussions of FOBT stakes there was talk of benefiting high streets, and various political promises have been made about helping the small businessman, but it is getting harder to hear such sentiments from Westminster over the sound of a death knell being rung in the high street.